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Help an old lady with lousy reflexes: what are your tips for mastering the roller beetle (and while we're at it, possibly the griffon, too)? How do you navigate sharp turns on the beetle (e.g. the first one near the sawmill in the Diessa race)? How do you get back on track once you've rolled past your goal and need to backtrack?

I'm having a hard time even getting the drifting on the beetle (as well as the griffon dive and pull) to work at all, much less to control. I really feel like I'm missing something crucial here, but can't figure out what.

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  • @Rasimir.6239 said:
    Help an old lady with lousy reflexes: what are your tips for mastering the roller beetle (and while we're at it, possibly the griffon, too)? How do you navigate sharp turns on the beetle (e.g. the first one near the sawmill in the Diessa race)? How do you get back on track once you've rolled past your goal and need to backtrack?

    I'm having a hard time even getting the drifting on the beetle (as well as the griffon dive and pull) to work at all, much less to control. I really feel like I'm missing something crucial here, but can't figure out what.

    To drift, you need to:

    • Guide the basic steering using the right mouse button and mouse movements.
    • Press (and hold) the "Mount Ability 2" key (check your keybinds in the preferences) to "unlock" the steering so that the beetle can skid.
    • Swing the steering to the direction you want to go. (Note, at this point you will continue moving in the original direction.)
    • Release the key to lock the steering again.

    The unlock-swing-lock sequence shouldn't take even as long as a second once you get the hang of it.

    The beetle takes a moment to lock on to the new direction, and during that moment, it continues to move mostly in the original direction. Allow a short lead time.

    A good place to practice this is in the big lower ring of Divinity's Reach. When you reach the southern end, downstairs from the Dwayna statue, drift into the road leading to the portal into Queensdale. With practice, you'll be able to do it without crashing it the walls or the cart, and even without sideswiping them.

    The extreme case of drifting is if you swing the view all the way to looking behind you, which allows you to reverse direction without skidding sideways, although the overrun may be nevertheless quite long.

    Note also that the beetle won't drift if the exhaust trail is blue. The trail changes colour as you pick up speed, blue at low speeds then shading to purple which shades eventually to YBO.(1) The space-bar boost ability proceeds (except when climbing extremely steep slopes) almost immediately to YBO.

    (1) Yellow-Brown-Orange.

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

  • Taelac.7036Taelac.7036 Member ✭✭✭

    The thing that's helping me the most (and I still don't have drifting mastered, but I'm getting there) is to break it down into individual parts, and practice those until I get the muscle memory attached to the action.

    To start, make sure you know what keys do which job. By default, Mount Action 1 is on the "V" key, and Mount Action 2 is on the "C" key. (Not to be confused with Mount Engage skills, which show up on the skill bar and use the number keys by default.)

    So, for the Griffon, Dive is on V and Climb is on C. For the Beetle, Turbo is on V and Drift is on C.

    To practice Griffon skills, climb somewhere really high and jump off. (I like the arena area in DR, but there are lots of places you can try this.) The farther you have to fall, the longer you have to press buttons and get a feel for it. Start by just diving and leveling off several times, until the distance you get on the speed boost from the dive feels natural to the amount of time you've held your dive. Once that feels good and predictable, add in the climb. Dive until you get some speed, then switch from V to C to make the climb. As you practice that, you'll get a feel for how long you can wait between the dive and the climb to get the benefit of the speed boost for forward travel between regaining height. Then, go try your hand at the Griffon courses in the main PoF maps. Courses vary wildly in difficulty, so try them all, and practice the ones you feel are within easy reach to start with. Be sure to switch courses before you get frustrated, so you don't train yourself to think of it as a chore. I usually run a course I haven't mastered three times and then move on--that gives me the chance to build on the parts I have already figured out without wanting to throw my computer out the nearest window. The course will still be there, so I don't have to master them all today.

    To practice beetle skills, the test track in Kessex is really very well designed. The camera doesn't move fast enough on keyboard turning to pull this off, so you really need to be mouse turning. I am also An Old, so a lot of the time, I'm moving with ASWD, because we didn't have fancy things like a computer mouse or floppy disks when I started gaming, and early habits are comfortable habits. But even old drakehounds can learn new tricks, so if you're also a keyboard-turner, your first step to learning to drift will be to mount your beetle and practice turning it with the mouse. Right button will turn the camera (and the beetle will follow), both buttons together will make you go forward and also turn. If you're already comfortable with mouse-turning, or once you become so, the steps to drift are:

    1. Build up speed. (Space Bar or "V" key by default.)
    2. Press your Mount Action 2 key. ("C" by default.)
    3. Turn your camera to the direction you want to go.
    4. Release your Mount Action 2 key.

    Steps 2-4 have to be done very quickly for tight turns. You can practice drifting in any open flat space where it won't hurt if you miss, then use the test track to refine your control. I expect that I'll be spending a lot more time on my beetle when I'm out traveling the map over the next few weeks, drifting suddenly and unnecessarily, just to get that "natural" feel.

    Good luck, have fun.

  • Rasimir.6239Rasimir.6239 Member ✭✭✭

    Thank you both for your answers! Your descriptions helped me to finally start getting a hang of drifting and getting through the Diessa and Gendaran races pretty well. I even scraped through the Maelstrom and Brisban races for the dailies, although both of those only for the price of getting violently sick afterwards thanks to getting stuck on all kinds of obstacles on the way. That's also the reason why DR is out of the question for me to practice, too much stuff that stops my beetle in its tracks and makes me ill, but I think I should be able to get by with practicing drifting somewhere that's wide open (like the Gendaran race course).

  • @Rasimir.6239 As you get better at guiding the beetle, you'll find that it becomes progressively easier to navigate "tight" areas like DR without actually crashing into the vendor stands and flowerbeds, leaving the stairs near the entrance to the Pavilion as the main "stopping" obstacle, although even that can be navigated without a crash. So practice out in the world until you get good enough to not crash in semi-tight spaces, then look for progressively tighter spaces. The beetle will navigate around the vendor stands in DR at YBO and high-purple speed without having to stop, but it does require some practice and a light touch on the steering.

    I will say that I'm fortunate in not having problems with motion sickness when playing video games, which does help in this case. (When I was a "wee small laddie", as they say, I used to regularly get car-sick, but I haven't had any problems with that since I was 8 or 9.)

    @Biff.5312 said:
    Exercise your whimsy.

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